With the Golden State Warriors seemingly on the verge of sweeping through the entire NBA postseason and winning a second title in three years, many NBA fans and analysts have contended that the NBA is facing a crisis and that the league will be irrevocably unbalanced for years to come.
On Wednesday's episode of "The Herd", Colin Cowherd explained why NBA critics have it all wrong.
NBA critics are ignoring what's great about the league in 2017
“Don’t be outraged by stuff you never were going to give a chance to. This is what I say to all the NBA critics.
"It’s stomping hockey. It’s literally driving my podcast to 8 million people a month, because I’m talking NBA. It is absolutely carrying our show right now.
"Just admit you don’t like the NBA. Don’t tell me you used to like it, don’t pretend you like it sort-of. You don’t like the NBA.
"Think about what the NBA, if Golden State destroys Cleveland in this series - either a sweep, or they win in five games - and you’re the commissioner of any sport in the world, here’s what the NBA will be providing you if Golden State rolls Cleveland.
"You will currently have not only a dynasty, but arguably the best team ever in the history of your sport. That’s a talking point.”
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
“You will have, then, arguably the all-time greatest player chasing the all-time greatest team. That’s a talking point.
"You will have, then, either the first or second notable franchise in league history, Boston, chasing arguably the greatest player.
"You will then have Lonzo Ball, a total spectacle, entering the league and probably going to the Lakers, the most popular franchise.
"You will also have over the next two months, three stars - Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Gordon Hayward - potentially moving to teams including the Celtics, your second-most popular team.
"And then you also have eight-to-10 totally marketable stars that if they walked in a mall in America today, they would be mobbed. Westbrook, Harden, Karl-Anthony Towns, the Greek Freak, Anthony Davis, Lonzo Ball in about an hour.”
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
The NBA is in an incredible position compared to other sports
“Now think about this. Major League Baseball can’t find a second star after Bryce Harper. I mean like a guy that literally walks into a mall, people freak out.
"Hockey has a Stanley Cup Final and it’s about a country singer and a catfish. Those are their talking points.
"College basketball has become a three-week sport. We don’t complain about the regular season because we’re not sure if there is one, because nobody watches it.
"People [complaining] about the NBA, just admit it. You’re conservatives banging on Obama, and you’re liberals banging on Trump. You were never going to give anybody a fair shot anyway.”
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The league has never been better
“If you were a commissioner of a sport and I said to you, ‘Hey, here’s what you currently have to work with - potentially the all-time greatest team, the all-time greatest player chasing that team, both of your top-two franchises ever either really good or poised to add a phenomenal young talent, and about a dozen marketable young stars. No concussion issues. You’re not so international, like hockey, [that] nobody knows your players. You’re not college basketball, where virtually coaches are more recognizable than your basketball players.’
"For the people banging on the NBA… we always talk about the ‘golden age’ of stuff. You can have, in this Finals … either LeBron’s going to win and the greatest of all time discussion, or Golden State going to roll and the greatest team of all time discussion.
"And, by the way, Lonzo Ball’s working out today. When’s the last time I went live to a guy working out whose 18 years old.
"… The [NBA’s] never been more global, it’s never been more skilled. There’s not even a ‘bad guy’ in the league now. Who is the villain in the league now, Kevin Durant? I mean, come on. He is as finesse as it can get, virtually impossible to dislike."